FUGRO SEASTAR DP
SUPPORT PORTAL

I have no lock, or bad/intermittent signal, what can I do?


If you are losing or have lost the Fugro correction signal, there are several possible causes. The most common problems are explained below:

Are you tracking the right satellite?

Maybe you are tracking the wrong satellite or the satellite you are tracking is at a very low elevation in the sky, making it more sensitive to shadowing and dropouts, or not available at all.

  • Use the Starfix planning tool (http://fsp.support/starfix/starfix.php#tabbed3)
  • Enter your location in the top right corner (in DMS format, i.e. 59°23'60'' N), or click on the map at your current position
  • Enter 2000km in the radius field, and press Go
  • Now mark all services, and press report
  • Now on the bottom left corner you can see which satellites are available at your location
  • Higher elevations are better. The lowest elevation limit is around 10-15 degrees depending on swell and the position of the antenna on the vessel.

Shadowing

  • Please check that you don't have any equipment shadowing the antenna
  • Has any new equipment been installed or any existing equipment moved?
  • Also check that the antenna is mounted correctly. Sometimes the antenna bracket has been mounted upside down casting a shadow on the antenna. The antenna should have a clear 360 degree view on the sky. Is it happening at a special heading? Try doing a slow 360 degree turn while observing the signal strength to pinpoint shadow zones.

Transmitting equipment onboard or on field/rig disturbing the signal

Is the signal dropping on all different positions or is it i.e. when Inmarsat phone calls are being made? Or when you are close to a rig? Is there a vessel passing? Try figure out circumstances.

  • You can try to turn off all transmitting equipment in the mast and see if this resolves the problem. Try turning on the equipment one by one to pinpoint what is disturbing the signal.

Antenna or cable problems

You need to check all connectors from the demodulator all the way to the antenna.

  • Check for loose connectors
  • A common location for problems is the pigtail cable joining the antenna to the main antenna cable. If you don't have one you should install one, otherwise the connector on the antenna can break due to loading from the heavier and stiffer antenna cable
  • At the mast disconnect the pigtail from the antenna and check for corrosion inside (to check if water has penetrated the cable). Check the connection between the pigtail and the main antenna cable. If there is green corrosion inside the connectors you have a problem with the cable. The connector should be absolutely clean inside

For further information contact Seastar Service on +47 21 50 14 20 (24 hr duty phone) or click here to email.


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